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Thursday, 30 March 2023

How many will fight the good fight?

Former Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, with the Ven Andrew John (right) on his
appointment in 2008 as Bishop of Bangor. Source: BBC

When archbishop Barry Morgan secured the election of his favoured candidate to be bishop of Bangor after the death of bishop Tony Crockett in 2008, the average adult Sunday attendance in the Church in Wales was around 37,000. 

It was predicted then that church attendance in Wales could decline to less than a quarter of that level
and, if proved true, "by 2050 Wales will be home to the smallest church-going population in Britain."

In 2018 the equivalent Sunday attendance figure was 26,110 representing 0.8% of the population of Wales. Extinction of the Church in Wales is predicted by 2040.

Archbishop Barry Morgan is seen by many as the architect of the demise of the Church in Wales, aided as he was by the example of his heretical mentor, US Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori.

The bench of bishops now places Governing Body decisions above biblical teaching, something that enabled bishop Crockett to refer to Church members who followed biblical teaching as heretics.

The heretics in the Church in Wales are not shunned Anglicans who keep the faith but its bishops who have abandoned the faith as received as they press ahead to undermine the sanctity of holy matrimony, the union for life of one man and one woman. 

The Church in Wales bishops made it clear in the September 2021 meeting of the Governing Body where their loyalties lie. For them a vote at GB overrides the Church's Formal statements of faith,

The bench is seeking to make God in their own image as they warn others against keeping the faith.

They wrote to their clergy following the ordination to the episcopacy of the Rev Stuart Bell, the former Rector of the Rectorial Benefice of Aberystwyth, with a warning:

 "A decision by members of the Anglican Convocation in Europe (ACE) to stand apart from the oversight of the bishops of the Church in Wales, and of the Churches of the Anglican Communion in communion with us, means that Church in Wales clergy should stand back from receiving communion at services held under the auspices of the ACE. No ministers affiliated with the Anglican Convocation in Europe should exercise ministry or leadership in a Church in Wales context, unless the explicit written permission of the appropriate Church in Wales diocesan bishop has been given.

ACE bishops responded: 

"Contrary to what Archbishop John and his Bishops have said, it is the the Church in Wales which has placed itself out of communion with the majority of Anglicans worldwide by departing the historic, orthodox, biblical faith. Faithful Anglicans living under such failed oversight need a spiritually safe home and a hope for the future. We are grateful that Gafcon has provided this by authorising ACE as a genuine Anglican jurisdiction."

Church in Wales bishops are leading their congregations into heresy. Church members must stand firm and 'fight the good fight', challenging the Church's departure from the 'historic, orthodox, biblical faith' as witnessed by the vast majority of Anglicans.

Postscript [02.04.2023]

The fightback begins in the Church of England.

"The Diocese was first informed a few hours ago that a group of clergy in the City of London is seeking to set up its own parallel, unregulated structures, outside of those of the Diocese of London and the Church of England. This unilateral move would have no legal substance.

"The initiative has been announced publicly, without discussion, at a time when constructive ongoing dialogue continues here in the capital, and across the country, following the House of Bishops’ proposals in response to the six-year Living in Love and Faith process. As a Diocese, we remain committed to working together through our differences, recognising the strength of our shared faith in Christ, and all that brings us together."

Friday, 24 March 2023


Church in Wales bunch of bishops  (l to r): St Davids (sick), Llandaff (Ret'd), Swansea & Brecon, Bangor (Abp), Bangor
 (Asst Bp & Bp elect of Llandaff), St Asaph, Monmouth (Source: Church in Wales)

A comment dated 23 March 2023 under my entry An ACE Bishop for Wales referred to a letter sent to all clergy from the bishops of the Church in Wales following the decision of the Rev Stuart Bell, former Rector of the Rectorial Benefice of Aberystwyth to accept ordination to the episcopate from Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church of North America and others. 

The letter as reproduced concludes:

"We would like to be as generous and open in our relationship with former colleagues and brothers and sisters in Christ in the future but we have to recognise the reality of the step which has been taken." 

In short, the bench is introducing another ban to avoid any form of mutual flourishing.

'Generous' is not the word that springs readily to mind. 'Treachery' would be nearer the mark.

Referring to the decision of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales to permit same-sex couples to have a blessing on their civil unions they write: "although we have been clear that clergy, leaders and members of the Church in Wales have a diversity of opinions on this matter, [we] have sought to provide space in our common life for freedom of conscience and difference."

That is simply untrue.

Mutual flourishing in the Church in Wales died in 2017 along with bishop David Thomas. Society bishops are barred from entering Wales leaving 'traditionalists' to travel to England to exercise 'freedom of conscience and difference'. Only the right sort of 'bishop' in their view is allowed to officiate.

In their letter the Bench state: "No ministers affiliated with the Anglican Convocation in Europe should exercise ministry or leadership in a Church in Wales context, unless the explicit written permission of the appropriate Church in Wales diocesan bishop has been given."

That is generosity?

Anglican Convocation in Europe (ACE) bishops. (l to r), Bishop Andy
 Lines, Bishop Stuart Bell and Archbishop Foley Beach (Source: Source ACE)

Postscript [26.03.2023]

ACE bishops reject claims of the Church in Wales’ bishops

"Contrary to what Archbishop John and his Bishops have said, it is the the Church in Wales which has placed itself out of communion with the majority of Anglicans worldwide by departing the historic, orthodox, biblical faith. Faithful Anglicans living under such failed oversight need a spiritually safe home and a hope for the future. We are grateful that Gafcon has provided this by authorising ACE as a genuine Anglican jurisdiction." Full story from Anglican Ink.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

This is not Dibley

Fowey Parish Church: Source Parish Website

From Mail Online: "‘Remind me, it is 2023, isn’t it?’: Why has the Cornish town Dawn French loves risked such an unholy row by refusing its own Vicar of Dibley?"

Yes, it is 2023  but the author of the Mail article headlined above appears unable or unwilling to separate fact from fiction. It is riddled with prejudice against those who follow traditional Christian teaching rather than the fad of the day.

Under the Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure 1993 (No. 2) a Resolution may be made "That this parochial church council would not accept a woman as the minister who presides at or celebrates the Holy Communion or pronounces the Absolution in the parish."

That is the factual position.

The Vicar Of Dibley is a TV fantasy show but it is portrayed as reality by people with no religion of their own and feminists in the Church wishing to undermine fellow Anglicans who, on theological grounds, are unable to receive the sacramental ministry of women. 

Ignorance offers no hinderance.

Some comments from the Mail article:

'It appears the parish church representatives here are obviously bigots,' said one comment on a community Facebook page.

'You should hang your heads in shame, such a bad decision,' read another. 'Remind me, it is 2023 isn't it?'

Progressives resort to lies and false accusations because they can muster no valid arguments to defend their own position This is typified by the Chair of Women And The Church (WATCH) who endlessly protests on Twitter and elsewhere about so called discrimination, simply because others disagree with her misrepresentations.

In this Christian Institute video the question is asked Do Christians want to drown children who 'might turn out to be gay'? 

The video illustrates how LGBT activists Jayne Ozanne and Peter Tatchell think so while Archbishop Justin Welby appears to agree with them. 

Also present at the confrontation was Ben Bradshaw MP who yesterday introduced a ‘ten minute rule motion’ aimed at forcing the Church of England to conduct same-sex marriages. It was passed by the House of Commons without a vote. This was despite Bradshaw himself saying in 2013 that it was the “prerogative” of the C of E’s leadership to decide not to allow gay weddings.

Beth Rigby of Sky News peddled the same discrimination line when mixing unrelated issues in an interview with Archbishop Justin Welby after the Ozanne/Tatchell demonstration. In the interview the archbishop refers to 'equal marriage' which implicitly accepts the redefinition of Holy Matrimony as not being solely between one man and one woman for life. 

The concepts of mutual flourishing and twin integrities have been swept under the carpet under the guise of equality. Traditional beliefs are now classified as bigoted, homophobic discriminatory simply because progressives have no valid arguments to support their stance.

People not toeing the progressive line are shut down or removed. Witness Christian theology lecturer Dr Aaron Edwards who was sacked for misconduct and threatened with a counter-terrorism referral by a Methodist Bible college for allegedly “bringing the college into disrepute” on social media for a tweet on human sexuality that went viral.

On 19 February 2023, Dr Edwards posted: "Homosexuality is invading the Church. Evangelicals no longer see the severity of this b/c they’re busy apologising for their apparently barbaric homophobia, whether or not it’s true. This *is* a 'Gospel issue', by the way. If sin is no longer sin, we no longer need a Saviour."

The Ordinariate has also succumbed to intimidation. The Rev Calvin Robinson, an orthodox Anglican deacon, fighting the culture wars on behalf of the Christian faith is being cancelled 'step by step, day by day'. 

Robinson has been cancelled by a group of Catholic choir singers and the Catholic clergy to whom they made an ultimatum. According to Church Militant, the English Ordinariate withdrew an invitation to broadcast Robinson's celebration of Easter on GB News after complaints allegedly initiated by members of the choir who disagreed with views expressed by the preacher.

This is progress?

Sunday, 19 March 2023

An ACE Bishop for Wales

                                                                                                                                           Source ACE

 From the Anglican Convocation in Europe (ACE)

In a service with a distinctive Welsh flavour, including harpists, songs, prayers and Bible readings in Welsh, Stuart Bell was consecrated on Saturday 18 March as bishop to serve within the Anglican Convocation in Europe.

Led by Archbishop Foley Beach representing the Gafcon Primates, and Bishop Andy Lines, the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Network in Europe, the service marked a significant moment in the history of the Principality. 

Stuart will assist Bishop Andy Lines in providing support and encouragement, oversight and accountability for ACE clergy and congregations within Wales. His consecration  represents the continuing provision by the global Anglican family of a home for those seeking to remain faithful to the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ and uphold historic, orthodox, biblical, confessional Anglicanism.

In his sermon, Archbishop Foley emphasised that the ministry of a bishop is to ensure the message of the church remains the message of Jesus, by teaching the Word of God, defending the faith and proclaiming Jesus boldly and unashamedly.

Asked about Stuart’s consecration, Archbishop Foley said, “It will now give the people of Wales a godly and faithful bishop who upholds the theology and moral teaching of the Bible and our Anglican tradition.”

Stuart himself reflected, “It seems to me that this a twofold testimony. A testimony as orthodox Anglicans in Wales to the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ which is our responsibility to faithfully present to all who will receive it; and, sadly, a testimony specifically against the Church in Wales which has stepped away from that Biblical gospel.”

In his greeting to the congregation Stuart publicly re-affirmed three life-time commitments: “Firstly to Jesus Christ as my Lord and myself as his disciple. Secondly to the Scriptures as recorded in the Bible, to believe them, to trust them, to seek to live them, and to preach them faithfully. Thirdly, I re-affirm my commitment to Wales, to commend Christ to Wales and to seek to bring Wales to Christ… until my last breath.”

Postscript [21.03.2023]

From Christian Today: A godly faithful bishop for Wales

"Bishop Stuart's consecration represents the continuing provision, by the global Anglican family, of a home for those seeking to remain faithful to the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ and uphold historic, orthodox, biblical, confessional Anglicanism."

Saturday, 11 March 2023

Some Comparisons

Benito Mussolini and Gary Lineker striking poses

Soccer pundit Gary Lineker dropped himself right in it when he compared the language used to launch the government's new asylum policy with that used in 1930s Germany.

In the same spirit, his balcony pose in a BBC News bulletin reminded me of more graphic analogy from that era.

The BBC said that the sports presenter was taken off their Match of the Day show after a row about the impartiality of Lineker's tweets claiming that he had breached its social media guidelines for tweeting about the government's new migration law.

Not wanting to be left behind, an increasing number of pundits are withdrawing their services in a show of solidarity for Lineker.

I see from his Twitter account that Lineker has 8.8M followers which may account for the outpouring of sympathy for the BBC’s top earner of over £1 million annually. 

By contrast Home Secretary Suella Braverman has a mere 120.9K Twitter followers.

From a Church Times tweet about another BBC casualty: "The BBC Singers is one of the leading advocates of choral music in the world, and their budget probably equals one sport presenter’s salary. The BBC corporate spin on it is beyond belief."

Sympathisers can sign a petition to stop the planned closure of the BBC Singers here.

The BBC previously announced that some of their News channel’s most famous faces, including Jane Hill, Ben Brown and Martine Croxall, were to be axed before the launch of a channel that combines international and domestic news.

For those of us who find the BBC's obsession with soccer completely disproportionate, some trimming of the seemingly endless number or presenters, commentators and reporters is long overdue.

The commentator John Motson  unwittingly summed up the problem in a quote from a tribute following his death. When the BBC apologised for a delay in presenting the News because coverage of a soccer game had overrun, Motson retorted, soccer is the news!

For too many he was right.

Thursday, 9 March 2023

"Can't see the problem"!

Former Second Church Estates Commissioner addressing the Commons
Original source: Mirror

Former Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry, attended the recent drag-queen gala at St James’s church, Piccadilly.

The Church Times reports that Sir Tony was one of the 300-strong audience who attended the event. 

Interviewed during the interval, he contrasted the event with the last time he had been in St James’s, for a debate between Theresa May and the Archbishop of York. He defended the drag evening: “It’s not hurting anyone, and making tons of money for the church. I just can’t see the problem.”

Sir Tony couldn't see the problem when he addressed the House of Commons back in 2012. Much was made of the Commissioner's buffoonery in sporting a male-only club tie while he was berating orthodox Christians for being sexist. He claimed that the Church of England's decision to reject the introduction of women bishops "makes it look like a sect".

It didn't then but is going that way. I wrote at the time "Sir Tony Baldry displays an unusual understanding of the word sect which in Christian terms means a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong.

The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) points out that having recently legitimised and incorporated into the Church’s liturgy the blessing of same sex unions, the Church of England has "departed from the historic faith passed down from the Apostles in the liturgies of the Church and her pastoral practice and disqualified herself from leading the Communion as the historic 'Mother' Church."

Sadly most of the Anglican bishops in Great Britain can't see the problem.

The Rector of St James's Church, Piccadilly, is the Revd Lucy Winkett, staunch promoter of the F word which is where the problem started.